The Nationals today released a list of 18 non-roster invitees to big league spring training, players that are not on the team’s 40-man roster, but will be given a chance to work out at major league camp.
Many of the names on the list we already knew, due to the Nats signing these players to minor league deals that offered spring training invitations. But other names on the list are up-and-coming prospects who will get a shot to compete with the big leaguers in the early stages of camp.
Included among this group is right-hander A.J. Cole, who was just listed as the 69th-best prospect in minor leagues by MLB.com, as well as outfielder Brian Goodwin and infielder Matt Skole, two other well-regarded Nats prospects.
Right-handers Blake Treinen and Chris Young, left-handers Danny Rosenbaum and Tyler Robertson, catcher Brian Jeroloman and infielders Will Rhymes and Josh Johnson also will be among the non-roster invitees.
New additions to the organization that we’ll see at big league spring training include right-handers Gabriel Alfaro, Manny Delcarmen, Clay Hensley and Daniel Stange, infielders Jamey Carroll, Mike Fontenot and Brock Peterson and catcher Chris Snyder.
This leaves the Nats with 58 players currently scheduled to report to big league camp. More can still be added, of course.
Cole went 10-5 with 3.60 ERA in 25 starts between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg last season. He tallied 151 strikeouts, third-most among Nationals farmhands, and his 102 strikeouts with Potomac were the most on the club, despite his promotion to Harrisburg on July 23rd.
Goodwin led the Double-A Eastern League with 11 triples and was third in the league with 82 runs scored in 122 games for Double-A Harrisburg. He tied for the team lead with 115 hits and paced qualified Senators in on-base percentage (.355) and slugging percentage (.407). On the season, he hit .252 with 19 doubles, 10 homers, 40 runs batted in.
Skole had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow early last season, but competed in the Arizona Fall League and is expected to be healthy this spring.
Alfaro, 30, struck out 12.0 batters per nine innings in 2013 while pitching for Guerreros de Oaxaca of the Mexican League. He went 4-3 with a 2.71 ERA and 26 saves in 63.0 IP (53 games).
Carroll, a career .272 hitter, spent the 2013 season with Minnesota before being traded to Kansas City on August 11th. An original member of the Nationals, Carroll is one of six members of the 2005 Nationals who are still active. The others are Marlon Byrd, Endy Chavez, John Rauch, Luis Ayala and Ryan Zimmerman.
Delcarmen has spent parts of six MLB seasons pitching for Boston and Colorado, amassing an 11-8 record to go along with a 3.97 ERA in 298 games.
Fontenot last appeared in the majors with the Phillies in 2012. He spent the 2013 season in Tampa Bay’s organization, playing 120 games for Triple-A Durham. He hit .264 with 32 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 42 runs batted in and 53 runs scored for the Bulls.
Hensley has spent parts of seven big league seasons pitching for San Diego (2005-08), Miami (2010-11) and San Francisco (2012), going 28-34 with 10 saves and a 4.00 ERA in 271 big league games.
Stange, 28, appeared in just three games at the big league level last season but struck out 73 batters in 65.2 innings between Triple-A Tucson (SDP) and Triple-A Salt Lake City (LAA) in 2013.
Peterson led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with 25 home runs and was second in the league in slugging percentage (.531) and OPS (.895) in 2013. He hit .296 with 30 doubles, one triple, 25 home runs, 86 RBI, 44 walks and 69 runs scored in 122 games.
Snyder, 32, was with the Nationals for a brief period during spring training in 2013, but spent the season playing in the Angels and Orioles organizations. He combined to hit .273 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs, 45 RBI and a .330 OBP in 73 Triple-A contests with Salt Lake (Pacific Coast League, 21 games) and Norfolk (International League, 52 games).